February 5, 2021
Richard Winton, LA Times
San Quentin State Prison is facing the largest single penalty in the state over workplace safety violations for failing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of 28 inmates and one correctional officer and a total of 2,200 confirmed cases. California’s oldest penitentiary was slapped with a $421,880 fine based on a June inspection that found numerous violations, including failing to report deaths and injuries in a timely manner and failing to isolate new arriving inmates infected with the virus, according to a report by the California Division of Occupations Safety and Health. The fine is nearly double the highest ever issued to any facility. The Cal-OSHA report, issued Thursday, comes on the heels of a scathing State Inspector General’s report that found health officials with the corrections department ignored warnings of front-line health workers and pressured them to hastily transfer 189 potentially coronavirus-infected inmates from the California Institution for Men in Chino last May, triggering a deadly outbreak at San Quentin.
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